Sean Loftin, Doing Extraordinary Things!
There are numerous examples of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health disorders doing extraordinary things. One such person is Sean Loftin. For many, one year and nine weeks may not seem like an extraordinarily long time but for Sean and his parents it represents something extraordinary. One year and nine weeks has been how long it has been since Sean has had what his father, Johnny refers to as an “explosion.” This is where Sean would yell, scream and hit objects and sometimes people. At it worse, Sean’s explosions would occur several times a month.

Sean, age 32 lives with his parents and has been a client of Bost and Bost Behavioral Health (C.A.R.E.S.) for several years. Sean has been a part of the ArTs at Bost Program at Bost since it started and both Sean and his father credit this program for giving Sean a way to express himself.  Sean and his father also give recognition to the psychiatric team at C.A.R.E.S. for getting his medication right and the counseling that Sean receives on a weekly basis; especially in the group setting.

Johnny shares that previously after Sean would have an explosion, Sean would cry and feel remorse but now Sean “cries more and he doesn’t let the emotions build up.”  In addition, Sean has tremendous support from his church family and the members of Common Thread, a bluegrass musical group that Johnny is a member of.

Our default many times as a society and even for parents, whose child has intellectual difficulties and/or mental health disorders, is to focus on the weakness. We’re very invested in fixing, and we tend to be focused on the negative, whatever the negative is. Make it better so everything is good. It’s an understandable means of reacting, but it becomes so embedded, and it’s not really the best path. More of us should take our lead from Sean’s parents and spend more time exploring and enhancing strengths instead of spending so much time working on the problem.

 

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